Mykola Tomenko: 20 Articles of the Constitution protecting Ukraine

25 June 2010, 13:00


On the eve of the Constitution Day, VV newspaper published an article "Ukraine that shall not be changed without you". In this article, Mykola Tomenko, Deputy Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, stated the necessity for every citizen of Ukraine to know the Constitution of Ukraine consisting of 161 articles, and defend at least 20 articles of Chapter I "General Principles."


M.Tomenko stated that discussions concerning effectiveness of the Constitution had been ongoing since its adoption. After the end of the presidential election campaign, the calls have been made to revise the development strategy of modern Ukraine, its fundamental principles and geopolitical choice. "Unfortunately, taking part in these political debates, plenty public figures, politicians and experts forget that Chapter I "General Principles", an ‘ideological chapter´ of the Constitution of Ukraine, is the greatest achievement of the Fundamental Law", he stated. M.Tomenko explained that for the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, this Chapter had accurately determined the general basic principles of the Ukrainian State, fundamentals of organization of authority, humanitarian and foreign policy. However, he attaches the greatest importance to the fact that Chapter I consists of 20 articles that shall not be amended without the will of the Ukrainian people, as these amendments shall be ratified at the all-Ukrainian referendum after the voting in the Parliament (article 156). "Thus, in 1996, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a resolution that prohibits the politicians to implement their election slogans and party promises by altering the course and the strategy of Ukraine via parliamentary voting. Only Ukrainian people shall determine the future of their country", M.Tomenko summed up.


Dwelling upon Chapter I of the Constitution, M.Tomenko singled out article 1, under which Ukraine shall be a sovereign and independent, democratic, social, law-based state. "Article 2 declares that Ukraine shall be a unitary state, which means that the recent initiatives of Ukrainian high-ranking officials promoted by Russian political leaders about the transformation of Ukraine into a federal state can be embodied only with the public support confirmed at the referendum", he emphasized. "Article 10 declaring that "the State language of Ukraine shall be the Ukrainian language" is equally debatable, although it shall be amended only via referendum", the Deputy Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine stated. Owing to the topicality of discussion concerning freedom of speech and prevention of censorship, he reminded that article 15 of the Constitution clearly prohibits censorship. "As far as the debates concerning foreign policy of Ukraine are concerned, clause 17 states that establishment and operation of any armed formations not envisaged by law are prohibited in the territory of Ukraine, and the location of foreign military bases in the territory of Ukraine shall not be permitted", M.Tomenko quoted.


Summing up, M.Tomenko stressed: "As the matter of amending the Constitution and revising the fundamentals of the modern Ukrainian State is still topical for the newly-elected authorities, the text of Chapter I will lie in the basis of ideology of the Ukrainian State, since presidents, governments and parliaments will change, while Ukraine will remain."